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100 Best Rap Songs of the 2000s

By

90. Murs & 9th Wonder - "And This Is For..."

© Definitive Jux

Much was made about the growing purchasing power of white hip-hop fans. On the 9th Wonder-laced "And This Is For...," Murs imbues the topic with the insight, bite, and nuance it truly deserved. "Good music transcends all physical limits," Murs rhymed atop 9th's deft interpretation of "You're Winning" by Crackin'.

89. Nelly - "Hot In Herre"

© Universal

Nelly, in his prime, was a force to be reckoned with in the danceable-rap department. "Hot in Herre" was supposed to be a summer single, but the St. Louis native got more than he bargained for. It went on to become his first chart-topping single and inspired a remix craze that went on for years.

88. The Roots - "Rising Up" (Feat. Wale & Chrisette Michele)

© Okayplayer/Def Jam

The glorious midtempo throb of "Rising Up" outshines everything on Rising Down.. From the go-go drums to Chrisette Michelle's soulful chorus and Wale's flawless verse, this is what a hip-hop masterpiece sounds like. [Video]

87. Q-Tip - "Move/Renaissance Rap"

© Universal

It's bouncy enough for the club and frenetic enough for the gym. The second half of the song reminds us of the many reasons Q-Tip has managed to remain a strong force. With a flip of the beat, a bubbly rap song descends into a somber subway banger, as Tip recalls his days as a young MC.

86. Wale - "The Kramer"

© Allido/Interscope

An usually lighthearted Wale gets serious on "The Kramer," in which he weighs in on the N-word debate.

85. Scarface - "On My Block"

© Universal

Face's heightened spiritual awareness and ominous street tales on songs like "What Can I Do" and the Houston tribute "On My Block" helped make The Fix his second best album. Second only to The Diary.

84. Lil Wayne - "Dr. Carter"

© Cash Money/Universal

Dwayne Carter dons his overalls and proceeds to stitch his ailing patients one after the other. Wayne devotes each verse to a specific element of hip-hop, doling out countless quotables along the way.

83. CRS - "Us Placers"

Pharrell Williams
Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images

There's a certain magic to this song that I don't want to ruin by trying to dissect the ingredients. A sweet reminder of a time when CRS (Kanye, Pharrell, and Lupe Fiasco) teased us endlessly with the promise of a longplayer.

82. Rakim, Nas, Kanye, & KRS-One - "Classic (Better Than I've Ever Been)"

Nas, Kanye West, Rakim, KRS-One - Better Than I've Ever Been

Three legendary MCs and one MC known for his legendary hubris celebrate Nike's Air Force 1.

81. Lupe Fiasco (ft. Jill Scott) - "Daydreamin'"

&copy Atlantic

"Daydreamin'" is a colorful blend of poetry, blues and hip-hop. Philly sweetheart Jill Scott is on board to sweeten this riveting piece.

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